MADISON - Wisconsin won't start a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Health Care Act. That's what Governor Scott Walker said today.
The state will comply with the law, but will let the Feds handle the exchanges.
Governor Walker emphasized that more than 90 percent of Wisconsin has health insurance - that's without an exchange. But Walker thinks the idea of a State-Exchange is in name only.
Instead, the Federal Government makes the final decision on everything anyway.
These exchanges are supposed to make it easier for small businesses and people to shop for insurance.
"They don't give the kind of true flexibility that would be required to provide something unique for our state, the state of Wisconsin," Governor Walker said. "Therefore, one of my biggest concerns is that had we chosen a state-run exchange it would provide long-term to the Wisconsin taxpayer and that is too high."
Some Walker supporters like the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce hoped for a state-run exchange.
Meanwhile, many opponents said Walker made the wrong decision since creating an exchange would give Wisconsin control.
The Governor says there are costs that aren't controlled and not fully-funded.
"Whether or not we like it, we're complying with the law," Walker said. "The differences between the three options under the law are really minimal, if at all, in terms of the impact on consumers. So in the end, we chose the option that provides the greatest amount of security, the greatest amount of protection for the taxpayers of the state of Wisconsin."
Today was supposed to be the deadline for states to decide on exchanges,
But yesterday the Department of Health and Human Services pushed the date to December 14.
Also a Ministry Health Care spokesperson put out a statement today saying they wanted a state-run exchange, but respect the Governor's decision.
Burke releases rural jobs plan, focuses on schools, health & growth
ACROSS WISCONSIN - A new job plan from Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke focuses on her economic objectives with rural Wisconsin.
Many parts of Wisconsin's rural areas, like the Northwoods, lags behind the rest of the state economically; for example, five of the ten Wisconsin counties with the worst unemployment rate in the state are in the rural portions of the Northwoods, according to June unemployment numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
Her focus is on growing the rural economy, boosting healthcare and improving schools.
WISCONSIN/THREE LAKES - Wisconsin continues to be the best state nationwide when it comes to producing cranberries. One Northwoods farm is preparing to make this year even better.
James Lake Farms in Three Lakes harvested close to 8,000 barrels last year. They hope to meet those expectations this year.
Right now they are in the growing season. The assistant manager believes Wisconsin is a natural environment for growing cranberries.
"It's fairly consistent as compared to somewhere out on the coast where most of the other cranberries are grown. I think a lot of those things combined help make it a good place to grow," said James Lake Farms Assistant Manager Benjamin Riker.
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